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Outtask Buys Back Stock, Data Return Returns

Saying the deal puts it in control of its future, Outtask, an Alexandria, Va.-based ASP and business services provider (BSP), today announced that it has completed a stock repurchase from investor Divine. In February, Chicago-based Divine filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code when its aggressive build-by-acquisition strategy crashed down around it.

Outtask's board of directors authorized the repurchase of Divine's interest of 30 percent in Outtask from Federal Bankruptcy proceedings. According to a statement from Outtask, the repurchase puts 95 percent of its stock in the hands of Outtask's management and employees.

"We believe that this repurchase of stock sends a strong sign of financial strength to the market, while providing the best possible way to reward our investors and employees," Tom DePasquale, president and CEO of Outtask, said. "It is a reflection of our confidence in our long-term prospects and belief in our sustainable growth formula."

Earlier this week, Saratoga Partners, a New York private equity firm, announced that it had won the bankruptcy auction bid to acquire Divine's Texas-based managed services unit, which includes the former Data Return. The bid was $28 million, according to Saratoga Partners.

Divine's MSP unit, which was built through acquisitions of Data Return, Intira, and Host One, accounts for $60 million revenues, according to Saratoga Partners. The new company will operate under the Data Return name and will be run by Sunny Vanderbeck, Data Return's co-founder and CEO.

Outtask is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Service Provider.


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